Broadcasting Gig Would Undermine Sean Payton's Suspension
By: The Football Girl | Posted: March 26, 2012
Sean Payton has moonlighted as a television analyst before. And he was pretty darn good at it. But those were in better times, before Bountygate and Payton's subsequent one-year suspension from coaching in the NFL.
Now rumors are circulating that Payton may land an analyst gig with FOX or another network while serving his time. Do the networks have every right to pursue Payton? Of course. Does it undermine his suspension? Yes.
Roger Goodell is a powerful man, but as tempting a it is to draw comparisons to "The Hunger Games’" President Snow, his rule is one with boundaries. He cannot control what Sean Payton does with his 365 days of free time. And the networks are free enterprises that can decide who is delivering our football news and commentary, even if it’s wrong or excruciating to watch (see: Siragusa. Tony). There are no ramifications for the networks because as fantasy grows so do the ratings. (Yes, I'm giving the credit to fantasy.)
But giving Payton a platform where he gets to be in the public eye, in many ways on a much bigger stage than as the coach of the Saints, seems unsavory. If you are like me and applauded Goodell’s widespread punishment, a Sean Payton sitting at home suffering in some way seems more appropriate. Not suffering in that he should publicly be treated to forty lashes for hunting some deer outside the confines of his fancy housing development. But suffering in that he is sitting at home watching Bill Parcells coach the team he built, questioning the Tuna’s judgment most of the time, agonizing over the fact that he is not out there, and ultimately understanding just how horrific the bounty scandal was. Never condoning bounties or something similar again.
A broadcasting gig is something most NFL players and coaches pine for. Aaron Rodgers is the coolest cat in the league, yet he spent 400 hours hanging out on the NBC set during their 450-hour pregame show. Even Brett Favre stepped into the broadcast booth for a Rice-Southern Mississippi game last year. It is a place for respected voices to provide analysis.
Giving Sean Payton a broadcast job is the same thing as saying he’s a respected NFL voice. It is rewarding him. And it will minimize the impact a season-long suspension will have on coaches and players who think bounties are simply part of the game, and should remain that way.